Student Spotlight

Are We Too Tribal for Global Sustainability?
October 18, 2018 — Casey Bata

When I was first getting to know my fiancé, I remember being very nervous to ask what I thought was an extremely important question. A question that, if answered “incorrectly," could lead to the quick demise of our new relationship. I mustered up the courage and tried to sound casual. “So... who is your football team?” Crazy, right? I was nervous about who his football team would be... as if it would be a deal breaker. His response caught me… Read More
Madrid’s Urban Ecology Innovations – Part II
October 15, 2018 — Marshall B. Distel

[In Part I of this three-part series, published on October 7, Virginia Tech Master of Natural Resources (MNR) student Marshall Distel introduced the city of Madrid as a case study for working to employ a wide array of innovative strategies related to urban ecology to enhance resilience and sustainability. In this installment, Marshall explores Madrid's attempts to support sustainable transportation, green infrastructure, and open space planning.]   In order to fight air pollution and climate change, while also supporting equitable… Read More
Madrid’s Urban Ecology Innovations – Part I
October 8, 2018 — Marshall B. Distel

The world is rapidly urbanizing. While the global urban population grew to nearly 4 billion people in 2014, it is predicted to increase to 6.5 billion people by 2050 (McDonnell & MacGregor-Fors, 2016). Moreover, according to recent estimates developed by the United Nations, two out of three of the world’s inhabitants will live in urban areas by 2050 (Haase et al., 2018). As the global population continues to grow and become more urbanized, city governments and policymakers from around the… Read More
App Helps NPS Visitors ID Invasive Species
September 4, 2018 —
BY LINDSAY KEY – SEPTEMBER 4, 2018 When Online Master of Natural Resources (MNR) student Hope Fraser learned about a smartphone app developed to help people identify invasive species in their own backyards, she had one question: why don’t more people know about this? The app, called the Mid-Atlantic Early Detection Network (MAEDN) was developed in 2010 with funding support from Invasive Plant Control, Inc., the Mid-Atlantic Invasive Plant Council, and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, in collaboration with… Read More
Sustainable Cities in the Anthropocene
June 25, 2018 — Marshall B. Distel

As the global population continues to increase in the coming years, it will be imperative to plan for the development of cities and communities that are sustainable, efficient, equitable and livable. The interdisciplinary field of urban ecology can assist planners, designers and local governments with the creation of a vision to support future urban growth that is resilient and sustainable. Beginning in the late 1990s, urban ecology emerged as a field that integrated a diverse set approaches and disciplines to… Read More